jeanniegrayknits.etsy.com

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Will it ever end?

Will the Pi shawl bind-off ever end?

knit lace pi shawl, knitting
OTN 08/28/15

So, yeah.  I'm on week four (or is it five?) of the Pi shawl icord bind-off.  There is a faint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel though.  I counted the pattern repetitions left to bind off last night & I've got slightly less than 1,200 stitches left.  And that's icord stitches, not stitches on the needle.  I could have probably finished it today if I'd opted not to blog about it.  And if I ignored the mountain of  dirty laundry and was able to talk my daughter into fixing dinner.  In other words, a lot of 'probably won't happen's' would need to happen.  Oh well.  At least I know I'll have something to write about next week.

Meanwhile....  My baby girl had her first-ever first day of school this past week.

Community College.

I suddenly feel very old.  How on earth is it possible that my little-bitty, baby girl is old enough to be going to college?

Sarah's first day of S. Sargeant Reynolds Community College
First Day of School

She must be old enough.  She's old enough to cuss at me for taking her first-ever  First Day of School photo.



Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Let me rephrase that

So, last week's post, written exactly one week ago today, said I'd be binding off the pi shawl for many, many days.  I lied.  I'll be binding it off for many, many weeks apparently.

binding off an Elizabeth Zimmerman lace pi shawl
OTN 08/11/15

First, you'll have to get past the bad, non-smart phone photo.  Not only am I in pi bind-off Hell, my computer is taking it's last breath and photo editing is just more than it can handle.

Anyway....  All that fabric over there on the right of the needles has been bound off.  All those squished up, tight against each other stitches, on a 24 inch needle I might add, are yet to be bound off.  Like I said, it will be weeks of binding off.  Many, many weeks.

So, why don't I just quit my life consuming "part time" 80+ hours a week, summer job & stay home and knit?  Because then I'd miss out on fun things like this:

things people write or draw on money

I have an odd fascination with the things people write & draw on money.  One of these days, I'm going to photograph it all, create a coffee table book of defaced money & become gloriously rich.  But first, I have to go bind off a few gazillion more stitches on that damned pi shawl.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A perfect day

I'm enjoying a much needed day off today and it has been perfect.  Absolutely perfect.  It may not sound like an exciting day off to most of you, but to me, the day has been pure bliss.

 My workmates thought I was joking about going to Walmart at 4:00 a.m. to stock up on junk food in preparation for the day, but I wasn't.

I slept until almost 2:00 p.m.


I started my day with a few Krispy Kreme doughnuts and a new (to me at least) Paul Walker movie.    The movie itself was not the best, but the scenery (Paul Walker driving a car for 99.9% of the movie) was delicious.


By 4:30, I was into the chips & dip.

Dinner will be a plate of raw vegetables because, as much as I've been craving a junk food filled pity party style day for myself, I am also craving vegetables.  There aren't very many vegetables on the menu at the theme park where I work, nor do the gas stations have many (i.e. any) options at 4 a.m. when I leave work.  I can't even remember the last time I had anything green.  I am looking forward to my vegetable dinner as much as I was looking forward to those Krispy Kremes.


To ensure my body doesn't go into shock from an entire plate of vegetables, there will be Oreo's for desert.

Meanwhile, between making myself ill with fat grams & diabetic comas, I've been knitting on the never ending pi shawl.


I am SO freaking excited!  I have finally started the i-cord bindoff.  It will take me many, many days off to finish it, but at least there is visible progress being made now.

And last but not least, I stumbled across this picture I took of a weird little cloud I saw on the way in to work the other day.


It was just one lonely, weirdly round, little cloud.  It reminded me of a little kids' innocent drawing.  But it also made me think it may have been an alien space craft masquerading as an innocent little cloud.  What do you think?  An innocent little cloud or alien camouflage?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My life, in a list

Well, it's been exactly one month & two days since I last logged on to (or is it into?) the blog.  In some ways, it feels like only hours have passed & in other ways, it seems like years.  It's been one of "Those" summers.  So, what's been keeping me away?  What, other than some crazy long hours at work that is.

Well, let's see....  Besides the crazy long work hours,

  • There's been several days spent with my daughter doing college admissions/orientation/registration type stuff.
  • I finished the OITNB cowl but haven't blocked it yet.  Or taken photos of it, for that matter.
  • Our up-right freezer died.  And of course it died just days after I'd spent an entire paycheck on frozen foods.  And of course, no one noticed it until the smelly, melted stuff started dripping out the door. 
  • Several basic stockinette watch cap type hats have been knit.  They haven't been photographed either.  Or over-dyed, which I plan to do.
  • The local farm where we pick our pumpkins each year has planted their crop & the vines are now visible from the road.  The day they planted the field, I instantly began craving candy corn.
  • It's been a crazy rainy/stormy summer.  A couple of tornados ripped through the area while I was at work one night.  And of course, I get a text from my daughter, who was home alone, saying "I'm okay, it was only a small tornado."  What the heck does that mean??  A small tornado that knocked a few trees down but the roof is still on the house?  Or was she being her usual sarcastic self & implying that we don't have a house anymore?  And of course she didn't answer any of my frantic texts back because, being a teenaged girl, she'd decided to take a 3 hour shower the moment the radio stopped blaring it's beeeep, beeeeep, beeeeep warning.  As it turned out, the tornado passed about a mile away so all was fine & dandy at home.  I am, however, the proud new owner of a few more gray hairs.
  • A few nights later, another storm, a little bit of flooding, a near miss with being electrocuted, and an emergency evacuation.  It was quite exciting and a little bit scary.  And pretty funny after the fact.
  • Oddly, the 'big bad' storms caused no harm, but several other thunderstorms  have knocked out our power for three or four hours at a time.  And always on my night's off from work.  No power at night means I can neither see to knit nor binge watch Netflix, which means I've been a very grumpy girl.
  • My husband got sick & ran a temperature of 103+ for three days before he finally agreed to go to the doctor.  (Men!  Sheesh!)  He had strep throat, pneumonia & a massive kidney infection.  Luckily a month's salary worth of antibiotics and three or four days rest and he was back to his normal self.
  • Our water company performed "line flushing" in our neighborhood and for the first two days our water looked like raw sewage, then for the next five or six days, it looked like watered down bourbon.

nasty, undrinkable drinking water
Thank you, Aqua Virginia

  • It's been about two weeks since the line flushing and while our water now looks normal, we still can't even brush our teeth with it because it tastes so bad.  It's like drinking straight bleach.
  • On the same day the water company did it's thing to our water, the utility company mowed our easement area out by the road & chopped up our Comcast line.  (Thank you Comcast for ignoring four years of pleas to bury the cable.)  The chopped up line meant, not only did we not have water, we also didn't have internet or TV for a little over 48 hours.  It was NOT a good time in our lives.
  • In the process of gagging on the taste of our water, I managed to knock out a filling while brushing my teeth.  Good grief!
  • While being unable to do laundry, Netflix binge or watch regular TV, I became so bored & frustrated I returned to knitting on the pi shawl.  I keep telling myself it's almost done.  But it's not.  It's no where near almost done.  In a very frustrated, "I'd like to stick a needle in both Comcast & the water company's eye" moment, I made the horrible decision to put a ruffle around the outside edge.  Just a little ruffle.  Just a couple of inches worth of ruffle.  And since it was going to be a short ruffle, I wanted it to be extremely ruffly.  So I started the ruffle by doubling the stitches.  Good Lord!  What was I thinking?  The round I'm on now has over 1,000 stitches on it.  One thousand+ stitches per round and I'm still not finished increasing.  Good freaking Lord!  Maybe I should just stick the knitting needle in my own eye.
So, all of that to say, I simply haven't had the time or mental capability to write a blog post.

And since this is supposed to be a knitting blog but I have no knitting photos of my own to show you, I'll leave you with a picture of some yarn I'm currently trying very hard not to buy.  I'm trying very hard to wear my big girl panties & pay for my daughter's college education instead of more yarn.  

fingering weight silk merino wool
phydeauxdesigns

But this yarn from phydeauxdesigns, an Etsy shop from California, is screaming my name.  I think it's absolutely gorgeous and that it should come & live with me.  The girl-child doesn't really need a college education, does she?


Friday, June 26, 2015

Orange is the New Black

Are you an Orange is the New Black fan?  Although I wasn't that wild about the second season, I was looking forward to the third.  And I got pretty dang, jumping up & down excited when I discovered there was an OITNB mystery-KAL (knit-along.)   I immediately ordered my kit (yarn and a link to the M-KAL/instructions.)  When I placed my order, the website said the yarn was in stock but two days later, I received an email saying that the yarn was not in stock & I'd have to wait for more to be dyed.  I was just a tad bit irritated, specially since I just happened to have June 13th off from work and June 13th was the day the third season would air.  I could binge watch all day, without even having to call in sick from work.  Or so I had thought.



My yarn finally arrived June 23rd, I immediately followed the link to find the instructions and.... wasn't that impressed.  Because I was so late starting, there were tons of spoiler photos already posted on the website, which turned out to be a good thing.  The MKAL instructions turned out to be for a shawl that just wasn't me.  Plus, it mentioned there was a good chance you'd need two skeins of yarn although the kit only included one.  So, instead of knitting the MKAL, I decided to knit a cowl.  I grabbed a couple of coordinating skeins from the stash pile and cast on during the opening OITNB credits.


It's just a simple, stockinette pattern with a few slipped stitches thrown in to create prison bars.

And no, the color is not off in the photo.  Instead of orange and black, the yarn is peach and grays.  Which I'm actually happy about.  I think the peach and gray combo will be much more wearable than an orange & black cowl.  An orange & black combo would probably look to Halloweenish.  Besides, the peach & grays are sort of dull, muted colors much like the colors of the OITNB prison.

Anyway, I'm happy with the colors and the yarn itself (it's a Lorna's Lace sport weight yarn) and the knitting project has outlasted the binge watching.  Yes!  I had two days off this week and spent them binge watching OITNB and knitting instead of going to the grocery store.  I will pay the price when I end up starving to death this week because there are no groceries in the house, but, I can now happily join the OITNB discussions at work.  It's a fairly decent trade off, I think.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

TBT - Disney

Zack and Sarah loved Tigger in the books and in the movies,

Zack & Sarah with Tigger, Disney World, 1998
but they weren't so thrilled to meet him in person.

Actually, their favorite thing about their trip to Disney World with Grandma was the wreck they saw on the way their.  A horrible accident happened right in front of them & the fire engine pulled up next to their car and they had a front-row view of people being cut out of the cars & the med-flight helicopter landing.  The helicopter was so exciting that to this day, you ask them how they liked Disney and they start talking about the helicopter landing near them.  They didn't even mind being stuck in a car, on a bridge, in the Florida heat for over four hours.

The kids get their fear of those giant, oversized, walking & waving, stuffed animal things naturally though.  I'll admit, they freak me out just a bit.  And every day at work, I walk past Planet Snoopy & most days, Lucy is right there, waving & walking and doing her photo op thing with the kids.  And I freak out a little, I stare at her to make sure she's not going to 'get me' and I begin laughing at myself and my silly fear.  And Lucy sees me smiling and staring & makes a beeline for me so we can high-five each other.  Every day.  You'd think I'd learn to take another route through the park, or to not make eye contact, or to burst into tears instead of laughing at my fear, but no.  No, I just start my day at work all wiggy, knowing that I've come in contact with a giant, oversized, walking & waving stuffed Lucy.

Friday, June 19, 2015

100 degrees and a gazillion trillion percent humidity

I think it's obvious I've already reached my summer slump as far as the blog is concerned.  I can't even remember the last time I posted something knitting related and if I'm going to be honest, the Thursday #TBT posts are all written & prescheduled way ahead of time.  There's been lots of drama preventing me from not only posting, but also from knitting.

First, it's sort of been too hot to knit.


And oddly, my car's mileage indicator pretty much equals the recent humidity levels.

And because it's been 100 degrees and a gazillion trillion percent humidity, our house's air conditioning unit died.  It took a week to get the new part and once the new part was installed, we discovered something else was wrong & the new part instantly shorted out.  A week later...  two new parts arrived and hopefully, keep your fingers (and toes!) crossed, we have working a/c once again.

And of course, since it was 100 degrees and a gazillion trillion percent humidity, one of our vehicle's radiators had to bust a gut.  Thank goodness the hubby is handy with a screwdriver and was able to replace the radiator in a matter of hours.

We've had extended family health issues to think about, so rather than knitting & thinking about that, I spent a rare 100 degrees and a gazillion trillion percent humidity day off at the lake trying to get a tan while not being struck by lightening.  Have I mentioned the crazy thunder storms we've been having?


And then there's been work.  Work has been taking up more time than usual.  We've been understaffed & the staff we do have are mostly all newbies so each shift is taking three, sometimes five or six hours longer than normal.  Have I mentioned the job is not a normal eight hour shift, it's a 'stay till the work is finished' shift.  Anyway, instead of leaving work at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m., there have been many, many 5:00, 6:00, even 7:00 a.m. clock-outs.  And no matter what time I clocked out for the previous shift, I still have to clock in at the same time each afternoon.  And, on top of longer shifts, I've been busier during the shifts so I haven't had much at-work knitting time.  Anyway, the point is, work has cut into my knitting and blogging time.   I will admit though - the paychecks are nice.  Those extra hours are funding a lot of extra yarn shopping.

It's also been so hot, my work uniform belt melted.  Have I mentioned it's been 100 degrees with a gazillion trillion percent humidity?  I really think my leather belt melted.  There was nothing wrong with it when I put it on in the morning and after spending a shift in what I have renamed The Hot Box, the belt suddenly broke.  Not the buckle, not where the buckle joins the leather.  But the leather itself just suddenly tore in half.  I swear I think it melted.

Because of the belt melt-down, I spent this week's day off shopping for a new one.  I ended up at the local Bass Pro Shop (because I want a pair of hiking boots they have, but that's a whole other story.)  Sarah went with me & we got silly doing the 'tourist thing' in the store.


We laughed at how she didn't want to get too close to Mr. Bear.


And she was so freaked out by this big fish, she wouldn't even get close enough to the tank for me to get her in the photo.  Sarah is NOT a fan of big fish.  She wigs out over them like I wig out over spiders.  In all honesty, it was a creepy looking fish.  Dead eyes, huge mouth.  Pretty creepy.

So, all in all, I haven't gotten much knitting done lately.  I did finish the striped cowl knit with leftover Hawthorne yarn,


I knit a couple of simple, rolled brim hats, both of which need to be over-dyed.  I'm disappointed to have to re-dye the blue one.  I'd used food coloring to dye what I thought was enough yarn to knit a hat, but I was way off on yardage.  I love the way the yarn had splotches of darker color and I hope I can recreate that effect.  I started another simple, rolled brim hat in a deep, royal blue that is my current 'at work' knitting project.  I also picked back up a creamy colored lace scarf that has been in the stash pile for a long time.  And, I started a striped Thing.  I'm still not sure what the Thing will be.  When I cast it on, it was going to be a felted bag but it may end up being a cowl.  Or maybe even a sweater body.  I haven't decided.  Or more truthfully, the yarn just hasn't told me what it wants to be yet.

And now, I have to go get ready for work, put on the new belt, and go face the weather.  Have I mentioned it's 100 degrees and a gazillion trillion percent humidity out there?